Messi won't leave Barcelona, insists Martino

The forward has become locked in a dispute with club vice-president Javier Faus but his coach has stressed it is nothing more than a private issue
Barcelona boss Gerardo Martino claims there is no way Lionel Messi will leave the club.

The Argentine star has become embroiled in a dispute with club vice-president Javier Faus after claiming in a radio interview that the Blaugrana director "doesn't understand football."

With speculation rife over whether the player will be offered a new and improved contract, his future at the club has been cast into some doubt, but Martino has made it clear he is not concerned by what he believes is a private discussion between the pair.

"It's not true," he told a press conference when asked whether Messi could be sold next summer.

"Personally I'm concerned with how the team plays. I'm not distracted by these issues which have no relation to football.

"I only want to sit in on footballing matters, to make sure the team plays better, that they win. It seems to me that, as coach of Barcelona, these are the most important things that should concern me.

"I cannot continue on it because I'm not well informed. I don't what the vice-president said, nor what Leo said, as these are specific discussions."

Messi is currently recovering from a hamstring injury in his native Argentina and Martino revealed he plans to visit the 26-year-old during the winter break to check on his progress first hand.

"It's not something that was planned but, for sure, he will be training in Rosario in the days after Christmas, and I will go to see one of these sessions," said Martino. "We are totally informed of his progress."

One player who has committed his future to the club is Andres Iniesta, who has reached an agreement to extend his contract at Camp Nou, and Martino admits the news is massive for the club.

"In the NBA they call players franchises; Iniesta is the same for us. He must be very happy to sign a renewal. We are all very happy."